What women see as harassment, men see as hazing
A female navy psychologist tells her female plebes that the question "Why did you come to the U. S. Naval Academy?" is a classic example of sexual harassment when a man asks tf.26 Psychology Today applauded this approach.27 Yet one has to ask whether this level of sensitivity contributes to the 50 percent higher attrition rate among women in the services.28 Why? It didn’t help the new women plebes understand that every male and female plebe would be hazed for some reason – the form a woman’s hazing took might be called sexism, but a short man would be subject to "shortism" ("Which is higher, your IQ or your size?”>, a stutterer, to guys imitating his stutter; a man from the rural South to "ruralism" (guys imitating his accent>, a Jewish plebe might be called "Captain Hooknosea plebe who got the praise of superiors, "ass kisser" . .
The underlying assumption behind hazing is that everyone has an area of vulnerability. The function of hazing is to train the novice (or the plebe) to survive attacks to vulnerable areas, to subordinate self to the team. The plebe learns to laugh and toss off criticism, to use criticism as grist for improvement, not to cave in. If a woman isn’t being hazed, she’s not being tested, therefore, she is not being trusted.
Equality includes equal hazing-or equal training in survival skills. Which is why hazing is most severe in professions in which survival is most at stake: fire fighting, crime fighting, the military, logging. Ironically, the Naval Academy’s course that failed to connect harassment and hazing with survival was called "Survival Skills.”29.Yet, if a job is survival based, someone who is not hazed is not trusted.
Does the navy plebe or corporate rookie learn to not take the attack personally? No. The attack often is personal. The rookie learns to take it despite the fact that the criticism might indeed be a personal attack. The purpose of the personal attack is to either make us a stronger link in the chain or to get rid of us should we choose to remain a weak link. It is personal because only a personal attack can answer the key question: "Are you willing to make your personhood subservient to the machine?" Or, "Do you understand that you are a replaceable part?’’ Women protest criticism and hazing more because fewer women have been trained to think of themselves as such replaceable parts
Is this system of institutionalized harassment, though, a system we want to continue? It has tradeoffs. One contribution women will make will be to curb its excesses. Sensitive artists don’t kill dragons. But men’s defenses are the armor that allows others not to have to wear armor. Without men’s armor, the United States would have been helping Hitler stuff Jews into gas chambers. Harassment is not a system that creates male power – it is a system that deflates male power And then promotes him to the degree he understands the larger picture – that he is irrelevant.
The female navy psychologist, while not understanding how hazing helped develop the characteristics needed to make sacrifices, expected only men to make all these sacrifices. Perhaps the saddest commentary is that Psychology Today – applauded her view of hazing as sexism as if hazing were a plot against women30 rather than understanding that hazing was actually a plot agaiast men that was finally being protested because it was hurting women.